When people or businesses need to make an agreement that is enforceable by law, then a contract is required. Contracts can be a little frightening. Contract law is an entire field of study, and knowing what should go into your contract can be tricky. It’s highly recommended that you have a lawyer draft and review your contract for you, but they are still going to be reliant on you knowing what you need in your contract. Here are some key tips for creating a successful contract.

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What makes a good contract

Woman looking suspiciously at a piece of paper

Identify Each Party: This may seem like a no-brainer, but not only is it actually easy to get wrong, it’s also very important to get right. Each party needs to have its full legal name included. Specifically, you need the legal name of the entities that are entering the agreement. This could mean an individual or it could be a full company name (including any legal suffixes like LLC).

Simplicity is Key: The terms of the contract should be simple and easy to understand. By keeping a contract simple, you not only make it easier for both parties to follow the terms but in the event of litigation, you can ensure that you don’t accidentally end up on the wrong side of your wording.

Be Thorough: This may seem counter to the last point, but don’t leave anything out. If something comes up verbally, ensure that it is included in the contract. Before the agreement is signed, it can also be amended in writing as long as all parties initial the change.

Plan Ahead: In the event of a disagreement after the fact, ensure that your contract states how any issues will be resolved whether through mediation or arbitration. Also, decide where the resolution will take place. If parties are located in different states, it will need to be decided which state’s laws will govern the contract.

Payment: If your contract involves money or assets changing hands in any shape or form, as most contracts do, ensure that the contract specifics who pays whom, when payments will be made, and how they will be made.

Proof: As with any document, you will want to proofread it several times. Even if you are having a lawyer draft the contract or review it for you, they may not understand all the intricacies of what you are trying to accomplish with your contract. It may help to imagine yourself as an outside party while you are reading to ensure that everything is clear and understandable.

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Are verbal contracts legally binding?

You are thinking about skipping the ink and paper altogether and just going with a verbal contract? You may want to think again. Though these verbal contracts are often legal and binding, they can be risky. Why are they risky? With nothing in writing, your agreement isn’t clearly spelled out and left up to further interpretation. This opens you up to litigation if there is a disagreement.

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Where to get contract assistance in Virginia

If you are looking for contract assistance in Virginia, whether with drafting or review, then turn to AC Rieman Law. Our law office serves Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Front Royal, Manassas, Fauquier County, and all of Central and Northern Virginia. You can give us a call at 540-764-4762 or contact us with the link below.

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Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.

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